So it's been mentioned twice now that I have a crush on someone. I've had a few messages from people on and offline going "Who? and "Tell me all about it!" Given that the friendship has grown because of LJ, and she reads a good portion of what I write and likes that I'm so very open and honest, she's let me know she's not bothered with me talking about it on here. Out of respect for the lady's privacy however, I'm giving her the online codename of Seshat.
Small bit of backstory. We've known each other for years, just not well. I know lots of people that fall into this category, we chat briefly every year or so, probably for no more than ten minutes. She's someone I just never got around to knowing. It happens.
These days I'm making more of an effort to spend some 'quality time' with a few of the people I've been meaning to get to know for ages. Shasta and I commented at this year's pancakes at Carillion that she's been going to Swancon's for seven years, and we've never said more than a few words to one-another. So in theory we're making time to talk next Swancon.
And for those that may be drawing conclusions, no Shasta is not Seshat. Shasta's just a great example of someone I've been meaning to talk to for a while, and then one day I suddenly discover seven years have passed! Because I have so many people I know and want to catch up with, I just don't always get around to talking to new people unless they come up and talk to me. Just the way of things.
Unfortunately there are people who are too nervous to come up and talk to me. It breaks my heart every time I find out about folks who have been too scared to approach me, and there's a surprising number of them that read my LJ, since they will often admit their trepidation in the screened posts! But through my posts a lot of folks have gotten to know me a hell of a lot better. Which means they tend to feel slightly more comfy approaching me to talk, which I'm all in favour of.
What happened with Seshat was slightly different but still helped along by the journal - we had mutual friends, and thanks to conversations with them, and reading my LJ, she felt I was someone she could trust and talk to. I knew her to be nice enough from friends, and through her LJ comments and answers to various polls, I felt that this was someone certainly worth the time and effort of trying to get to know better.
Recently we got organised and managed to make the time to get together and yak. We cuddled up platonically, and chatted non-stop for about four hours, I think. So we talked, and because I was broken, I had a few good cries, she had a few cries, it was good. I came away very pleased I had made the time to get to know her better, and my only regret was that I had taken so long to do so. But it probably wouldn't have happened as quickly or easily without LJ, 100 Days, and the especially the polls, which gave me some insight into the real person.
Interestingly, it wasn't that particular time and conversation that kicked off my crush, or the cuddling, or the mutual comfort - if that was the case, I'd be smitten with a hell of a lot more people - though no doubt those elements all played their part in the long term.
After the talk, which was rather raw, honest and open from both sides, we just kept up a certain level of contact. Odd messages, hellos, *hugs* and the like. I SMSed her a few times over the next few weeks, just wanting to touch base as I do with so many folks. She even sent me a cock for my birthday, which was a nice surprise. And that was kind of it. We started SMSing from time to time, but only as new friends can - that semi-regular level of contact that you get between two people who have just discovered that they enjoy one another's company and want to maximise it - with the occasional deeper SMS of appreciation, and mutual happiness that we had made the time to get to talk one-on-one.
As is usually the case, what really drew me in was her mind. And at some point I just realised that I was actively looking forward to messages from her. Not that I don't with other folks, but when my phone beeped and it was her, the endorphins were bouncing a tiny bit higher each time. I was already using ICQ to talk to one particular friend, but looked into organising Jabber when I realised Seshat was using it. All things I would do with anyone I liked a lot, I am highly enthusiastic, after all.
But then I noticed I liked her a bit more than normal. That was when I started to go "Hang on a minute..."
A couple of conversations via IM, getting to learn more about her and see more that I liked, I finished one session some weeks back and went, "Oh wow! She is so awesome!" After sitting there quietly glowing for a few minutes, realised how I was reacting.
"Hey what? Is that...? Am I...? Oh God, I'm smitten!" I examined how I felt over the next few days. No, feelings still there. Still theeeeeerrrrreee... What about if I tilt my head like this and squint my eyes? Nope still there. Okay, definitely got a crush.
Now, very important point - Seshat has no interest in me as anything other than a friend. She likes me a lot, trusts me, is comfortable around me, but has no romantic or sexual inclinations towards me at all. If she did, I'd be rather surprised if she hid it. She knows I have a crush on her, isn't bothered by it, is satisfied that Sharon's okay with it (it was her first, and only, concern), appreciates the interest, and certainly enjoys yakking with me and getting to know me better.
Naturally, as soon as I was aware of the shift in my feelings, Sharon was the first to be told. She is, as always, not bothered. I let Seshat know fairly promptly, as is my new way of dealing with these things. Once I am definite on how I feel, I say something. Too many years of regretting not saying anything. I figure if she knows I'm not going to be stalking her or talking about leaving my missus, an adult woman can bloody well deal with being loved and appreciated.
So now, we end up talking most days, and I get a silly amount of enjoyment from it. Certainly a part of what has drawn me in is her mind. I love a smart woman. The quickest way to my heart and crotch is to show me your brain, and that's what she did. It's one of many things she shares with Sharon - I had no romantic or sexual interest until I got to see her big, grey, wrinkled, wobbly organ *grin*
I do love people deeply anyway, so the difference between good friend and lover is not actually that great, more a case of flavour than depth. The crush has an intensity behind it that is stronger. If I fall in love there's a bit of that power, but I seem to slide almost straight into a very loving, protective, or giving mindset, with some hints of passion threaded through it.
This has a hell of a lot of enthusiasm and passion as a constant state, and a good chunk of love and caring. We've talked about it and both wonder whether my feelings will fade down, stay stable, or will grow into 'full' love. No idea, but both curious to see how I fare. Regardless, we both feel like we'll be good friends for a long time to come. I certainly have no problems trusting her or being vulnerable with her. Admittedly, I trust a lot of people, but only a handful so much that I can be vulnerable without actively needing to think myself into that state.
I don't think either of us are expecting her feelings to change, and we're not bothered by that. Seshat's complimented by my affection and unconditional acceptance. Also bemused, amused, and confused by it all. However she's welcomed the chance to have someone she feels she can talk to without the need for masks, someone she can open up to without feeling the need to hold back anything to protect herself from harm. And she likes the idea that, when we're sharing space, she has someone to hold and be held by.
Strangely, I quite like that thought, too :)
Seshat's told me that she doesn't want to be someone I have to walk on eggshells
around, that she appreciates my honesty, and so I have been given that all-too-rare treat of being allowed to express myself fully with her. So while she doesn't return my feelings, she cares a lot about me and is also made happy by giving me the freedom to express myself without filters, which she knows is enough to please me greatly. So I get to mention the times I'm loving talking to her, or when she's making me feel shy, happy, caring, and cuddly, or that I think she's wonderful, smart, and sweet, along with the times she leaves me aroused, craving physical intimacy, or somewhat lascivious.
So it would appear at this point, we're both in a pretty good place.
A couple of things I was asked -
new crush; how do you stop it taking over your life?
Well, I don't. For me part of the point is letting myself enjoy the way I feel. She's a constant in my thoughts (more on that below) but I have a life I have to lead, a wife I love dearly, many other friends, and things I need to do (many of which I was struggling with before this). I just get on with it to the best of my ability.
How do you combat that feeling of wanting to do something about it all the time and knowing that you can't?
Mate, that's the story of 98% of my romantic life! I've learned pretty solidly over the years that if I fall for someone, they will almost certainly like me lots or love me as a friend, but that's it! The reverse is also true, most of the folks that have expressed more than a passing interest in me are people who I like, but have no attraction or desire for. I try to treat their feelings as gently as possible, having been on the other end so many times.
So I don't really combat it, I just accept it. I endeavour to not make a nuisance of myself, to be the best friend I can be (without being a bloody idiot, or letting myself get used), and simply enjoy their company as much as I can whenever I am blessed with it. And I try to keep in mind if we do get talking at work, to try to keep it short (I have a very strong work ethic.)
So I do do something about it, I make the most of it while trying to do no harm to the friendship.
Comments Screened but I may quote relevant questions/comments if there are any.
EDIT - made a minor change to avoid wrong conclusions by those who thought my mention of Shasta meant she was the crush. She's not, even though she is adorable :)